Pipes From Hell

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Anonymous

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Smoking entirely second-hand pipes (none of the bought-news ever ended up making the cut), I'm pretty familiar with the ghosts of tobaccos past. Sometimes they smoke out over time. When they're incorrigible (like Lakeland shampoos), off they've gone (until recently) to LL for de-toxing (waiting for the last one to come back before burdening him with more).

The point I'm trying to get at is that, when 20 years of half-and-have have colored a briar, you (I) can taste the residue of it. That's a simple ID.

But there are four pipes here that don't have any pronounced ghost flavor living in them, but are sheer demons. Within a couple minutes of lighting them, the hot, fiery needles start destroying my tongue. It's like a cross between cayanne pepper spray and, maybe, drain cleaner.

All four are Italians, and they're all smoking Virginia tobacco (a connection Vito pointed out I never would have made. Seems he's experienced it too). Three are Tinder Box Veronas (Armellini's first US market penetration), one's a Roberto Ascorti "Caminetto" (year one of his resurrection of that marque). And it happens every freaking time with them.

Granted, the stems (airways @ bit) of these are severely sub-optimum, but it doesn't happen with other sub-optimums that haven't had their turn in North Dakota yet.

Anybody else ever run into this ?

If so, with the same combination (Italian briar, Virginia flake) ?

Tinder Box sold these, and also sold a ton of Lane 1Q. Could that be it ?

:face:

 
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Anonymous

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Yes I have Bro,
On some reputable Italians,
In one a go a wiff of ammonia like, Nasty, Bitter comes to mind.
They have a hard run in in the workshop!
I think because some of the airways are not really open they tend to get sucked on real hard, wonder if this could be the reason.
At a loss for words here Yak, but I know what you mean bro!!
 

Muddler

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I think Piet is spot on. Many Italian pipes have narrow airways. Puffing too hard causes tongue burn.
 
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Anonymous

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Muddler":3tg3505a said:
I think Piet is spot on. Many Italian pipes have narrow airways. Puffing too hard causes tongue burn.
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
 
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Anonymous

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Many thanks. Gents.

The part that has me stumped is that , with garden variety tongue bite, the flavor is there, and it's mostly the tip and leading edges of the tongue that gets it. With these, the tobacco flavor is replaced (over-written ?) by the stinging, tingling, hot needles, and they blanket the whole top of the tongue.

:face:

 

Aaron

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I have noticed this as well. It's been mostly those cheap Italian basket pipes. I guess I should invest in some better pipes in the future, seeing as how when I get VAs right they are sublime.
 
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Anonymous

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Yak":9wd9ckky said:
Many thanks. Gents.

The part that has me stumped is that , with garden variety tongue bite, the flavor is there, and it's mostly the tip and leading edges of the tongue that gets it. With these, the tobacco flavor is replaced (over-written ?) by the stinging, tingling, hot needles, and they blanket the whole top of the tongue.

:face:
It could be me saying that YAk, Yea, I know, Here is my opinion. Big bowls, restricted drafts, let the SH*T begin bro!
I have opened some of them to 4mm, mechanics permitting and refirbed the pipes, it becomes a dream smoker!!!!
I think it is the construction more than the wood!! IMHO. Bad draf leads to poor technique which in turn burns wood man.
Not that I think you have bad technique brother, thats not what I'm saying :lol: :lol:
 
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Anonymous

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You might well be right, Piet. But it doesn't happen with English or Irish old timers (when not LL-icated, sub-optimum draughts guaranteed). Not in 35 years, anyhow. With these demons, it's every freaking time.

I'm thinking something along the lines of exorcism :scratch:

:face:
 
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Anonymous

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Yak":3l3v6y7i said:
You might well be right, Piet. But it doesn't happen with English or Irish old timers (when not LL-icated, sub-optimum draughts guaranteed). Not in 35 years, anyhow. With these demons, it's every freaking time.

I'm thinking something along the lines of exorcism :scratch:

:face:
This is interesting bro, I know, I have some Pete P lip std's with uber small drafts and they seem fine!!!
More experimentation will be needed!
For sure what I have seen in the workshop is pipes with super small drafts have really badly charred Bowls, burnt as a matter of fact. Wonder what LL would say if we pitched this at him??

 

Vito

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Yak:

After mulling over this problem for the past few days (and knocking it around on the FE board), I'm convinced that it's the tobacco-and-pipe combination. If there's a constricted airway into the bargain, that's a separate problem. I have Italian briars that have wide open airways, yet they absolutely will NOT give a good smoke with certain weedages.

Your description of the nasty effect is the tip-off. We're not talking about merely "hot" here. It's much closer to the effect you'd get from taking a big fat swig of sodium hydroxide, or maybe sulfuric acid. I'm not saying that pH is the problem (although that could be a factor); I'm saying that the effect of the smoke is equivalent to what you'd get with a nasty chemical burn. It's like a zillion hot needles stabbing around inside your mouth.

I can reliably produce precisely that same effect by loading a bunch of GawHogg Curly Cut Delux into a certain Savinelli pipe I own. There are similar effects with other weedages—all of them Virginias—and other pipes, many (but not all) of which are Italian briars.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that you're just going to have to dedicate these Pipes From Hell to vastly different tobaccos. Now, I realize that's easier said than done, onna counta you typically don't keep a billion different kinds of weed around, having settled on a few choice favorites.

Nevertheless, I would recommend trying some dark-fired weedages, or any fire-cured tobaccos, such as those that are liberally laced with Latweed. In general, any blends in which the Ginnyweed plays a minor role should tame the beast. If you need more specific recommendations, lemmee know.

You don't have a bunch of cheap pipes there, so it doesn't seem likely that the problem is improperly cured briar (...although I suppose it's a possibility). But if that's the case, you can either wait a loooonnnggg time for the air to cure them, or find a weed that plays nice with the briar and smoke-cure those puppies yourself. Either way, I'm convinced this is principally a case of weedo-pipular incompatibility, for which the solution is to find a weedage that the pipe likes.

:joker:
 

glpease

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Some dogs just bite. I've been vexed by this many times over the years. In some cases, finding the right tobacco will help tame them, but in other cases, it's just evil briar. Whatever tobaccos find their way into the bowls are transformed into brimstone, and the smoke rendered is the foulest reek of Hell.

Okay, that's probably a little hyperbolic, but there's truth at the core of it. There's bad briar, and all the "engineering" in the world will not a good pipe make when the wood is evil. (The importance of airway diameter is SO overblown. I've had pipes with tiny little 2.5mm air holes that deliver amazing smokes, and pipes with airways that you could drive a lorry through that, though they nearly smoke themselves, are little more than vessels in which to waste otherwise perfectly good tobacco. What's important is that everything is in balance, not that the airway is big. I'd choose good wood any day. Bad drilling can often be fixed, but you can't anything about bad wood, except maybe coat it in sodium silicate and hope no one notices.)

In some cases, if the smoker can endure the torment, smoking the Hell out of the thing can improve it. In some cases, nothing seems to.

But, it seems it's almost always the tobacco that's blamed when a smoke bites, despite the fact that the pipe is just as important a part of this deceptively complex system. It's one of the reasons I will never judge a tobacco based on a single smoke in a single pipe. Sometimes, the combinations just don't work out.
 

Skip48

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I have some old Caminetto's and don't have any trouble with them at all and actually doesn't see to make much difference what I smoke in them. However I also bought back in the mid 1970's one of the Veronas and have never like it much (it looks fine) and it doesn't work with Virginia's well at all and may be more suited for other tobaccos, but I am not sure what yet.

I loaded it up not too long ago and I think it was something not strong, like Golden Slice and after lighting it I just had to scraps all the black off the top and take what good tobacco was left out and into another pipe where it was just great!

So for me I only have trouble with the cheaper Veronas than better Caminetto's and I have about 5 that are just awesome, but all say Caminetto on them and not Verona. All of my other Italian pipes/briar do great with Virgina's. Also my 2 Cavicchi's are wonderful with the Virgina tobacco, but have assigned the Radice to English. I also have one Cesare Barontini wish is very nice with anything I put in it including Virgina's.

In some way I have to agree with GLP, because that Tinder Box Verona that I have is just not that good with anything.

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Natch

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Yak":sm556hsa said:
You might well be right, Piet. But it doesn't happen with English or Irish old timers (when not LL-icated, sub-optimum draughts guaranteed). Not in 35 years, anyhow. With these demons, it's every freaking time.

I'm thinking something along the lines of exorcism :scratch:

:face:
My alternative to exorcism is to introduce these puppies to my 'ol friend, Mr. 12 Gage. :affraid: He handles many of my personal problems. :lol:

Natch
 

Sasquatch

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Greg I more or less agree with your post, and I have summed it up this way before:

Really good briar can make up for other deficiencies of design, whereas even the best mechanics inside a pipe will not be able to make up for bad briar. The best pipes share good mechanics and good briar.


It's just that easy! :cheers:
 

Vito

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Yak sent the suspected Pipe From Hell to Dr. Vito's School for Unruly Pipes, and I'm sitting here giving it its first lesson as I'm writing this.

After sniffing the bowl when I first received the pipe yesterday, the obvious question was, "What to smoke in it?" I immediately ruled out all manner of Ginnyweed; it didn't look, feel, or smell like a Ginnyweed pipe. I pondered the question overnight, allowing time for the auto-grok function to work.

It hit me tonight after dinner: GawHogg Latweed! Talkin' 'bout pure, 100% CypriLat. I wanted to give the pipe every chance to prove one way or the other whether it's possessed by a demonic aura. If it had the bad-boy gene, I reasoned, it would show itself even with pure Latweed, Latakia being one of the gentlest smokes in this sector of the galaxy...and Gawith Hoggarth's pure Cyprian Latakia is smoother than most. Only McClelland's CypriLat is milder (and considerably sweeter) in my experience, but I wanted to stay away from sweet tobacco for this initial bowl.

A nice, loose pack is the ticket for this weedage. One touch of flame, and we're off!

There is no Fire Needle Dance of Death here, but by mid-bowl there is definitely a spicy edge to the smoke. That's unusual (but not unheard of, here in VitoSpace) for this tobacco. Nevertheless, this is a most enjoyable smoke, and well within the range of variability in "spiciness" that I expect from this tobacco.

So far, it's not completely conclusive that this pipe is not possessed (to some degree, at least) by the Bad Briar Demon<img class="emojione" alt="™️" title=":tm:" title=":tm:" src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/emojione/assets/png/2122.png?v=2.2.7"/>; after all, this is just one smoke, with one tobacco. But if the definition of "bad briar" is "a sufficiently God-forsaken hunk o' wood such that NO tobacco behaves itself when smoked therein", then this pipe clearly doesn't qualify.
________________

I'm well into the bottom third of the bowl now, and I've been smoking it continuously since the initial ignition. The pipe is barely warm to the touch, so we can dismiss any conjectures about the pipe burning "hot". The draw is easy and effortless, with only the slightest sips delivering plenty of warm, spicy smoke. (GAWD, this is good tobacco!)
________________

The shaping of the tobacco chamber and the positioning of the draft hole (dead center, at the bottom) is such that this puppy smoked all the way down to nothing but fine gray ash. As is true of most bulldogs and Rhodesians, the sidewalls became quite warm at the very bottom of the bowl, where the taper naturally makes the wood the thinnest. But the smoke was never hot, either temperature-wise or spice-wise.

In fact, the spiciness never increased beyond where it maxed out at mid-bowl. No Zorch-Mouth either; I could easily smoke another bowl if I weren't already satiated by the sublime pleasure of having smoked a great bowl of Latweed.

Preliminary Conclusions:
  • Pipe From Purgatory? – Maybe...with the wrong tobacco.
  • Absolutely, irredeemably satanic Pipe From Hell? – Nope.
:joker:
 

Puff Daddy

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Did you perform any cleaning beyond a basic reaming to clean it up and remove that oleum smell you mentioned before? Wondering if that smell still is present after the pipe has cooled off?

I was just wondering about this last night, if possibly the pipe was dip stained and never smoked enough to get past that (remember the thing with Petersons and dip staining and the gawd awful taste before either sanding or profuse smoking?).
 

Vito

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PD:

Ah, yes...the oleum smell that I mentioned on another board—a hideous odor reeking of creosote and burnt sulfur...sort of like the atmospheric fragrance in certain parts of New Jersey.

Anyhow, that evil, Godless smell is gone, vanquished by one "magical" bowl of Latweed. Except that it ain't magic. It's just the friendly kind of weed that Mr. Latakia is. Surely, you remember the old saying, "Nice Latweed, always helps, precioussssss..." Now it smells like a pipe, not a petroleum refinery waste product.

Puff Daddy":r3156689 said:
Did you perform any cleaning beyond a basic reaming to clean it up...I was just wondering...if possibly the pipe was dip stained...
No hard-reaming, no sanding. I simply scrubbed the tobacco chamber with pure ethanol and a clean cloth; but I didn't take it down to the wood. Then I applied Dr. Vito's Secret Pipe Rejuvenator<img class="emojione" alt="™️" title=":tm:" title=":tm:" src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/emojione/assets/png/2122.png?v=2.2.7"/>:
  • 1 pound mountain oysters
    2 cups boasted minions
    3 quarts almond abstract
    1 microgram fresh plutonium, lightly sautéed
    1 bucket o' pone reevers, shelled
    2 teaspoons cilantro or motor oil

    Combine all ingredients in a chilled roasting pan. Bake at -250°F for 2 weeks, or until firm. Set it near the troublesome pipe as a subtle reminder that you mean business, and it had damn well better shape up, or you'll plaster that vile shit all over the bastidge. Store in liquid nitrogen bath for use as needed in future disciplinary action.
I have the pipe sitting here on my desk. Occasionally I pick it up and sniff it—partly for the unmitigated joy of its residual Latweedian fragrance, and partly to make sure I haven't slipped sideways into an alternate universe where the sumbitch has reverted to the Pipe From Hell. So far, it's behaving itself, sniffage-wise.

As to whether the pipe was dip-stained, I dunno for certain, but I would expect that it wasn't. As far as I know, Roberto does not stain the insides of his pipe bowls:



:joker:
 

Puff Daddy

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Vito":1u98ukdy said:
2 cups boasted minions
I hate it when the minions go about boasting. Speaking of which:
Vito":1u98ukdy said:
1 pound mountain oysters
Round these parts they does run bout a pound apiece :afro:

Mebbe it wasn't that the pipe was revolting (adjective) but that the pipe was revolting (verb). Some Eyetalian pipes just don't like ginnyweed :no:
 

Vito

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Puff Daddy":r66s4q9a said:
Mebbe it wasn't that the pipe was revolting (adjective) but that the pipe was revolting (verb). Some Eyetalian pipes just don't like ginnyweed :no:
That was my starting hypothesis. It's starting to look like that might be the case.

Nevertheless, it has been my experience that the mutual loathing between certain wopwoods and Ginnyweed is not necessarily a permanent condition. I have pipes that started out that way, but which I subsequently tamed, using a carefully designed strategy consisting of many different weedages, combined with subtle suggestions of sterner "disciplinary measures".

For example, I've heard that it is often sufficient to threaten them with one of those aromatic/Latweed blends in order to get them in line...although I can't personally corroborate that. Besides, I see no reason to resort to cruel and unusual punishment. If I get a particularly stubborn one, I just take it out into the shop, fire up the table saw, and start thinking "Sawdust!", just to give it an incentive to cooperate. :twisted:

:joker:
 
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